In my recent post, Kid Power!, I wrote about the Echo Boomers, the children of the Baby Boomers, now age 18 to 31, and the largest generation in U.S. history.

I recently became an Adjunct Professor at Monmouth University where I teach in the Kislak Real Estate Institute with Don Moliver, PhD., MAI, CRE. There are about 35 enrolled in the Real Estate Appraisal Course: four business school grad students, one adult certificate student and 30 undergrads taking the course as an elective.

The adult student is a hardworking, determined lady working on a second career. The grad students are obviously older, but man are they sophisticated and smart. They are clearly leaders.

But the undergraduate students are the ones that really impress me. The class is on Wednesday evenings and if there is partying, it takes place after class. Week in and week out, they are all there. Attentive, serious, respectful.

Last week was the midterm exam. They all dug in, unafraid of and patient with the complex problems they were asked to solve.

The prior week a young lady came up to me with a question. Based on her demeanor I judged her to be a bit younger, perhaps a sophomore. It turned out that she was one of the last students to complete the exam and I ended up walking out with her.

My briefcase laden with blue books, we started chatting as we walked. She said, “I have two more midterms tomorrow, and I am focused on them because I want to be able to pass the CPA exam on the first try.”

“Oh, so you are a senior?” I asked, a little surprised. “Yes,” she said, “I am a double major – accounting and finance.”

I asked her about her plans after she graduates.

“I interviewed and got job offers from three accounting firms, one of the Big Four firms and two regional firms.” she said, “I am going with the smallest of the three because I want to be able to work in a variety of departments. I think it will make me more valuable. And that would be helpful if I want to start my own practice later. Besides, the Big Four firms want you to work 60 to 80 hours a week, and I am concerned about my work-life balance.”

I was nearly speechless. Such drive. Such maturity. Such perspective.

It seems to me that America is in good hands.